At the DefCon cybersecurity conference, developer Mike Grover unveiled and sold several copies of the "hacky" version of the regular Lightning cable for the iPhone. It looks and works like an ordinary cable, but knowing its secret can remotely activate the firmware and hack the gadget to which this cable is connected. Grover says he took inspiration from an old NSA design for intelligence agencies, but managed to make a much cheaper and simpler version.
The idea is as elegant as it is insidious - everything you need to hack a computer or smartphone is hidden in the cable itself. For the current level of technological development, this is not a problem for a long time, Grover says that he made the device almost in the kitchen. He took apart a regular cable, added a few tiny ICs directly to the USB connector, and wrote software for them.
Grover used a USB-A cable for Apple products because they are the smallest. If you manage to build a hacking device on this basis, then it is not a problem to equip all other, larger cables with it. Grover does not specify what exactly this melver does, how he breaks into computer security, and what data he hunts for. The purpose of creating such a cable was a creative and professional interest, Grover is not going to establish production and sale. But he emphasizes that it turned out to be quite easy, and therefore it is worth fearing that the idea will be adopted by real attackers.